I’ve always been fond of Korean drama; it is a genre that Korean directors seem to excel in quite a lot. Director Young-Hoon Park’s absorbing tale of love, obsession and confusion “Addicted” (aka: The Poisoning) is a drama with a mix of mystery, romance and the (perhaps) supernatural. It had a slight box office success in Korea, and for most people, it is just middle of the road fare. Truthfully, I would agree with those folks, until I got a chance to see the film a second time prior to this review. This film was remade by U.S. filmmakers retitled "Possession" in 2009.
Hojin (Eol lee, Samaria) a woodwork artist, is married to Eun-soo (Mi-Yeon Lee). They are a recently wed couple and so their romance is very much alive and they get along remarkably. Ho-jin's brother, Dae-jin (Byung Hyun Lee, A Bittersweet Life), a bachelor who had just completed his national service and is now a race car driver lives in their house with them. The two actually welcome his presence in the house as Dae-jin brushes off the advances of a friend (Seo Hyeon-Park). One day, Ho-jin had an accident in a cab while his brother Dae-jin had an incident in the race track. Both brothers end up in a coma which shatters Eun-Soo‘s spirit. Dae-jin wakes up from his coma and then he spends months trying to recover from the trauma.
Strangely, he starts to show unusual behavior; Dai-jin starts doing the same chores like his brother and even demonstrates the same habits as leaving Eun-Soo’s toothbrush for her. Much to Eun-Soo’s puzzlement, Dae-jin soon insists that he is Ho-jin, steadfastly maintaining that he is possessed and being taken over by his brother's spirit and he seems to know things only Ho-Jin would know. Is he truly possessed or is this ploy to gain Eun-Soo’s trust?
The film is a blend of GHOST, BIRTH and The TALENTED MR. RIPLEY. I don't want to divulge any more details because it may ruin the experience. One question would come to mind is: Is he or Isn't he? Is Dae-jin mentally ill, is he playing a con or is he really possessed by his brother? The direction does make the tale very enthralling as the viewer is left to wonder the same things Eun-Soo is experiencing. The film is an emotional experience and much of the film relies on the viewers’ ability to read between the lines as unspoken emotions are laid out throughout the screenplay.
The film’s premise is pretty simple, and much of it focuses on the Eun-Soo and the actress if to be commended for taking much of the film’s burden. I liked the film’s ability to instill both sympathy and doubt in this new relationship between Eun-Soo and Dai-jin. I loved the way the two characters manages to feed off each other’s energy as they make each scene appear quite simple and yet so effective. The film is a slow-moving affair, I appreciate this method of direction as it allows the viewer to take on the film’s emotional narrative. The film does require some patience on the part of the viewer and a lot of the details lie in scenes such as sweating it out, holding an umbrella and just merely looking at each other.
The last act of the film is actually very touching as the film answers the questions that have puzzled both Eun-Soo and its audience. It is a question of unfulfilled love that may have reached its fruition, that may have come at a price and allows fate to play a hand and gives the protagonists a choice that is birthed from faith and misguided sense of opportuinity. After all, we are all defined by our actions and our decisions; we are defined by who we are and how good we are inside. If you were Dai-jin or Eun-Soo what choice should one make? Do we follow our sense of morale or take a chance and follow one’s desire? It is nice to see the direction sidestep the temptation of putting a judgment on its characters and allows the viewer to make this decision.
I have only seen the U.S. release of this film. I heard rumors of an uncut Korean release that is a lot longer. The film has a heart-rending climax that redeems the film‘s slow direction that is just so bitter and emotionally draining. It is to the credit of Korean filmmakers that they never seem to steer clear of difficult resolutions to their tales. “Addicted“ is a tepid affair but one cannot deny that it also provokes emotion wonderfully thanks to the performances of its cast.
Recommended! [3 ½ Out of 5 Stars]
Couldn't find a trailer, so please bear with me with this love scene:
Addicted is a film that could have been so much more but it just never reached the potential of its story. The synopsis will no doubt attract people because it is very unique and very hard to perfect. The movie is about two brothers named Ho-jun and Dae-jun. Dae-jun is the younger brother. The two live in a house together and that would be cool except Ho-jun is married. You come to find it suspicious that Dae-jun even wants to be around his brother and sister-in-law Eun-soo because it's not even … more
Addicted" is both a story about two brothers and their spiritual journey as well as a lovers' tale. Dae-jin's (Lee Byung-heon) brother Ho-jin (Lee Eol) dies during a tragic car race that they both attended. After waking up from a long coma, Dae-jin takes on the entire habits as well as the looks of his worshipped brother. Things start to get totally out of hand after he falls into an addictive relationship with Ho-jin's wife Eun-soo (Lee Mi-yeon) that goes far beyond a brother sister-in-law relationship ??
Addicted is a story about the spiritual journey of two brothers - as well as a passionate tale of love and desire between a man and a woman. Dae-jin (Lee Byung-heon) falls into a deep coma at the same time as his brother Ho-jin (Lee Eol) dies. Both were victims of tragic car races held in different places. After waking up again, Dae-jin takes on the habits as well as the looks of his worshipped brother. Things start to get totally out of hand after he falls into an addictive relationship with Ho-jin's wife Eun-soo (Lee Mi-yeon). She firmly refuses to believe that Ho-jin's soul was transferred into Dae-jin's body, until an astonishing revelation causes her to question her faith...